I can recall a conversation with Lord Balfour in which
he startled me by a fervour of conviction alien to his tempera- ment. It was this conversation which showed me that for him Zionism was no war-time gambit, but a cause, the success of which would, by one great act, at least do some- thing to mitigate the uselessness of the War. "The Jews," he said, "are among the most gifted races of mankind. They have many material aptitudes, a wide spiritual foundation, but only one idea. That idea is the return to Zion. By depriving them of that idea the world has diminished their virtue and stimulated their defects. If we can help them to attain their ideal, we shall restore to them their dignity. Upon the basis of that dignity their intelligence will cease to be merely acquisitive and will become creative. The New Jerusalem will become a centre of intelligence ; and Judaea an asylum for the oppressed."